Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems 2021

Edited and introduced by Kate Camp

Over the summer, on holiday with my mother, retired English teacher and lover of poetry, I was reducing my longlist to the shortlist. If I couldn’t resist the urge to interrupt her book and read a poem aloud across the room, that was a sign it belonged on the shortlist.

You really go for endings don’t you, she said, and I’m like, duh, but also yes, the endings of poems are so important. I can love a poem that has lines in it I don’t enjoy, but I don’t think I can love a poem if I don’t enjoy the ending. Read the full introduction >